The parents of a teenager stabbed last year near a movie theater at the South Bay Galleria have sued the mall's owner. Richard and Maria Williams say better security could have prevented the incident, or at least helped catch the attacker. Angie Crouch reports from Redondo Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2013.
The family of a 13-year-old boy stabbed in the heart at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach is suing the mall owner and the mall's security company calling the mall a "cesspool for crime,” the family’s lawyer said on Monday.
The family alleges the mall failed to provide adequate security and surveillance cameras that could have helped identify the assailant from the Dec. 29 attack as the schoolmates sat on a bench near a mall movie theater.
The children were severely injured in the attack. The boy was stabbed six times in the chest, heart, lung and arm and spent two weeks in the intensive care unit at a hospital. The girl was stabbed three times.
The kids are both out of the hospital and back to school. Michael Alder, the attorney for the boy's parents, said the girl's parents are not involved in this lawsuit and may seek their own legal action at some other time.
Mickey Marrassino, the marketing director for the South Bay Galleria said she hadn't seen the lawsuit and would not comment.
The family of the boy attacked alleges that the mall failed to warn the public about "the known danger of criminal activity at the Galleria" and failing to provide adequate safety measures despite advertised claims of having "industry-leading" security, according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.
Police said a stranger apparently chose the two at random and disappeared. Police released a composite sketch of the man they believe was responsible for the attack and announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to him. The FBI also announced it was joining in the hunt for the assailant.
Officials said crime at the Galleria has been an ongoing concern, with reports of as many as 128 crimes there in the 90 days leading up to the attack.
The family of one of the victims created a website to try to call attention to the issue and ask other victims of crimes at the mall to come forward.